Top reasons for students to attend scientific conferences

Scientific meetings are one of the few places where you will find distinguished leaders in the field sitting alongside young investigators, postdocs, early-career scientists and students. And not only are conferences a great place to showcase unpublished work and obtain feedback from some of the best minds in the industry, the unrivalled networking opportunities means they are a great forum for students.

We like to think scientific conferences are incredibly exciting! And as a student booking your very first, even more so. Not only does this mean an exciting few days in a potentially exotic location but the chance to rub shoulders with the most established leaders in your field. The right conversation could propel you to a postgraduate job, and at the very least you'll leave the conference with a notebook full of new research and quite a few new contacts that could be useful in your future career.

We have been listening to the students attending Fusion Conferences and below are our top three reasons to make sure you make space for at least one scientific conference in the diary this year.

  • Know it 

Even if you’re not yet ready to present your own research, attending a scientific conference can inspire your work and provide you with a wider understanding of the most recent advances in the field.  Top speakers will often present findings long before they make it to publication so you can be amongst the first to hear of cutting-edge research which can often aid your own projects.

  • Show it 

Conferences provide the ideal platform for scientists to present their work at various stages and gain invaluable feedback, not only from peers but also from the top academics and researchers in the field.  Submitting an abstract for poster presentation ensures your research is seen and discussed by the organisers and may even lead to an invite for a short-talk.  Conferences also often attract scientists from the wider field and can open up some interesting discussion and collaborations which may have been previously unexplored.

  • Talk about it

Obtaining contacts is one of the main reasons why scientists attend conferences. Making connections at this stage in your career can lead to a very exciting future so make sure you make the most of your time at the event.  
Speaker lists and talk titles are published well in advance allowing you time to read around topics of interest.  Resources such as LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Twitter enable you to connect with people of interest before you even arrive and make sure you perfect your ‘elevator pitch’ for your research – you never know where an initial 30 second conversation might lead to…

Why not set yourself a goal for every networking break to approach one of the speakers from the day and ask them questions that weren't asked during Q&A. They will appreciate the interest and are likely to be keen to help students (the next generation of scientists in that field). 

Be brave - sometimes it can be intimidating to go up to a scientist you admire who has far more experience than you do, but sparking a conversation can pay dividends! Also make sure you present a poster of your work at least, conferences are the best place to put your name out there and get invaluable feedback.”  Lilian Hunt, Francis Crick Institute | 2nd Personalized Medicine Conference, 

Fusion initiatives
As a student if you are attending one of our conferences, make sure you have a chat with your Conference Manager prior to arrival about the special initiatives we run.

  • Student VIP Lunch – On arrival prior to registration, we often run an invite only lunch to bring together attending students with the chairs and some of the most influential speakers at the event. You could be dining with a Nobel Prize winner before you’ve even unpacked your bags – how’s that for an ice breaker?
  • Meet the poster presenters – A dedicated part of the programme where we invite poster presenters to take to the stage and deliver a 60 second teaser of their research.
  • Student discount – Due to popularity our student offer is now available at all Fusion conferences. Any fully paying academic registering will qualify to bring along a student for half price*. 

* Terms and conditions apply. 50% subject to change per conference.